The NBA is known for having its fair share of star players. Not to mention, there are always a few surprises every season. However, this year has seen a few unexpected teams get off to a good start, but there are two players who have shocked the NBA media and fans so far. Some of these are role players who blossom into stars, while others are stars with career years. Without further adieu, here are the three most surprising starts to the NBA season by players so far.
Three NBA players have had unexpected starts this year
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has proven himself as a legitimate NBA star. However, even as the Oklahoma City Thunder rebuild and try to rebuild their team with a lot of draft capital, they are making a case for their first star performance this year. He already hit two impressive game-winners and averaged a game-high 31.1 points. On top of that, he’s posting career highs with 1.4 blocks per game to go along with 4.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists. SGA’s efficient shooting from the field as they currently have an effective field goal percentage of 56.3 percent. While his team may not be anything to write home about right now, Shay Gilgeous-Alexander will certainly deserve All-Star consideration when the time comes.
Following the theme of athletic guards, De’Aaron Fox is making his name known this year while also showing the NBA world that the Sacramento Kings are no longer the league’s whipping boy. He had a number of incredible moments this year, including a game-winner against the Orlando Magic; He hit a three-point shot near half-court as time expired to give the Kings the magic win. Fox helped lead the Kings to an 8-6 record, good enough for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
As for De’Aaron Fox, he’s also having a career year worthy of All-Star consideration. He is currently averaging 24.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game. Not to mention, he’s posting an effective field goal percentage of 60.7 percent, a career high so far. Some of his advanced numbers are impressive as Fox averaged a career-high offensive rating of 122 with a player efficiency rating of 25.2 and a box plus/minus of +5.5 overall. With all that in mind, and Sacramento’s surprising start to the season, De’Aaron Fox is proving to be the league’s unsung star and one of the NBA’s most surprising players.
Could Markkanen’s success be the result of having the right coach and the right player around him? could be. However, the results speak for themselves. Utah is the biggest hit this year as they are currently in first place in the Western Conference and the arrival of Lauri Markkanen has played a big part in that success. He’s not just a case for star status, but he’s making a strong case for being considered an NBA star. Markkanen is currently averaging 22.3 points, 8.4 rebounds per game and an effective field goal percentage of 61.3 percent. Markkanen is perhaps the biggest surprise of all NBA players this season with the Utah Jazz.